In Berlin during the summer months, or in all of Germany for all I know, wherever there is food or drink you will have wasps as guests. They’re not the aggressive type of wasp I usually associate with the word, more a benign sugar seeking harmless wing-borne insect that bears a strong resemblance to its very aggressive and territorial cousin. Generally nobody pays them much attention, they’re not dirty like flies and can normally be gently persuaded to chase somebody else’s food with a light wave of the hand. They do, however, have the capacity to sting, albeit rarely and usually in times of great stress. An example would be when one of the gentle creatures is drowning in your beer and you unwittingly take a drink and the little b***#ed stings you on the inside of your lip as it dies.
As unbelievable as it might seem, you can save yourself hours of pain and a swollen mouth with the aid of the humble onion.
Slice an onion in half, hold it onto the offended piece of flesh for half an hour and the stinger comes out. There is no pain, nor will there be any swelling. You will have onion breath for a while, but that’s it. Think about trying to get a stinger out from the inside of your lip while your head throbs with pain. You may look a bit silly rubbing an onion on your lip for thirty minutes but it’s a small price to pay.
I was lucky enough to have a friend who knew about the humble onion and was sitting beside me when the demon struck. I pass this information on because of the panic I initially felt at the time of not knowing what to do, but fearing the worst.
For those who are interested, the picture was shot on a piece of Perspex laid on a glass table. The flash head was underneath the table and a piece of white foam board held over the top was used to push light onto the top of the onions.
70-200mm, f11, 1/125sec, ISO160